Guest Blog From Joshua Palmatier

Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford graciously invited me to guest here at her blog today so that I could talk about the small press Zombies Need Brains and our current Kickstarter (check out tinyurl.com/ZNBPortals) attempting to fund three brand new SF&F anthologies.  I thought it might be nice to explain where the themes for these three anthologies came from.

PORTALSsmallFirst, the lead anthology, which is really my own little baby.  I grew up reading fantasy novels in the 80s, which means I read a ton of novels with characters from our world transported to another world.  Books like Andre Norton’s WITCH WORLD or Stephen Donaldson’s CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT.  There were many, many others, but I noticed that I hadn’t seen or read many “portal novels” in either fantasy or sci-fi recently.  I loved those stories, so thought, “Why not do an anthology with portals as the theme?”  Hence, PORTALS was born (although…

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The BSFA Review Issue 3

Download Issue 3 BSFA_Review_3

Subscribe to the BSFA Newsletter here to get the BSFA Review in your mailbox as soon as it comes out, and to keep up with other SF news. Also, join us on Facebook.

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Mining Experience by Jim Anderson

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PapersIn what I can only describe as a courageous decision, I spent part of a recent weekend cleaning out the drawer of half finished projects. Perhaps it was the sun. And there were more than I remembered there being. So one of the things this cleaning out has inspired me to do is to see how many of them I can convert from half finished to finished by the end of the year.

But one of the stories I found is one that I haven’t yet persuaded myself to go back to, because of how uncomfortable I felt putting it down on paper in the first place and how uncomfortable it made me when I went back and reread it. Interestingly, I hadn’t remembered all of the details and if anything, I found myself more uncomfortable reading through it, than I remember myself being when writing it.

It’s a very strange experience, being…

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Getcha luvverly ideas here! By Ben Jeapes

Some ideas to ponder…

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You know you’ve made it as an author when you’re asked the time-honoured question, “where do you get your ideas from?” There are various time-honoured responses, but Neil Gaiman in the link nails it.

In our recent house move I unearthed a very old notebook from the time when ideas just kept popping into my head. Some even made it through in recognisable form to publication. Most got no further than the notebook. The last of them is dated 3-5-93, and as I started writing His Majesty’s Starship in Christmas 1993, that means everything here predates my career as a novelist.

I will probably never do anything more with them and it would be cruel to consign them to my bedside drawer for another 23+ years, so, boys and girls and other, please feel free to pinch with my blessing.

Professional killer of immortals (e.g. people à la…

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How to Sell Short Stories to an Anthology By Deborah Walker

milfordsfwriters

2018-Young-Explorers-GenericFirst off, I’ll pepper these words with caution. This is how I do things. You might have a much better way of selling stories to anthologies. And if you do, could you please tell me in the comments.

SELLING WITHOUT SUBMITTING

Sometimes an editor will chance across a published story and decide it’s perfect for their anthology. Make it easy for them. Publish your contact information on the interwebs. A bibliography of your published stories with links is good, too. I speak from experience. A few years ago, I had no contact information on my blog, and an editor had to track me down via Facebook. I could have missed out on a Year’s Best sale. Thank you so much, Mr. Editor.

FINDING ANTHOLOGY CALLS

Search for anthology calls and guidelines on The Grinderhttp://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/. A quick search of markets gives twenty-eight  anthologies paying 1 cent per word or…

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NESTA: Futurefest by Liz Williams

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Tobacco Dock 1I recently contributed to an anthology of women’s SF published by a think-tank (doteveryone, helmed by Martha Lane Fox) and they very kindly gave me a free ticket to an event in Wapping: Futurefest 2018.

This was held in Tobacco Dock, a converted tobacco warehouse which is now a conference centre (an impressive building in its own right, with its long, low stone arched rooms) and it was an interesting setting for a conference on the future, being an old industrial building. The conference itself was run by the innovation foundation NESTA and featured a mix of political thought, technology, and social concepts. Futurefest’s website states:

“This year’s FutureFest came at a time where for many, our relationship with the future felt troubled. From hidden influences over the media and politics to growing threats of terrorism and environmental degradation ,the forces shaping our world seem threatening and remote. FutureFest brought…

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Science for Fiction by Liz Williams

Missed it this year, but loved and appreciated this event over the last couple of years. Keep an eye of for it next year!!

milfordsfwriters

Imperial CollegeImperial College has been running an annual event, Science for Fiction, for the last few years and many members of Milford have not only attended, but have found this to be an invaluable resource in terms of inspiration and information for their fiction. Run by Professor David Clements, himself a Milford regular, the event runs over 2 days and consists of a series of lectures and discussions on cutting-edge science. In the past, attendees have learned about epigenetics, ethical issues in AI, and tried out a VR device simulating the Mars rover.

Huxley bldg signImperial is one of the top scientific institutions on this planet, a world-leader in physics, astrophysics and AI. It’s fundamentally an engineering college, but some researchers (for instance, Marek Sergot in the AI department) are involved in exploring ethical issues within their fields. Robotics is a major focus and Imperial is involved with the European Space Agency; an…

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You don’t have to be Luddite to work here… by Alastair Reynolds

Thoughts from the master…

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There’s an understandable assumption that someone who thinks about coming technologies must also be something of a gadget-head. I’ve certainly done my share of near-future speculation, trying to imagine plausible extensions of current advances in AI, robotics, virtual reality, telepresence and so on. While I’m fascinated by these topics in an abstract sense, I couldn’t be less interested in terms of my own working environment.

I write in a wooden shed in Wales. I have a kettle in there, and a record player, and not much else. There’s certainly no wifi, and I struggle to get a good telephone signal. Most of my writing (including this blog post) is done on a Dell desktop computer that will soon be old enough to begin driving lessons. Technically it’s on borrowed time – I was assured that the hard-drive is already many years over “MTBF” – “mean time between failures” – yet…

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Northwrite SF Writers Group by Jacey Bedford

This is a really friendly and supportive group where you will receive professional critiques of your work.

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Inspired by our enjoyment and appreciation of Milford’s annual conference and unable to sign up to a specialised SF critique group in our own area, a few writers based in the north of England decided to form a small critique group. Since our founder members were stretched from coast to coast from Lancashire to Yorkshire it made sense to meet in the middle. Since I’m more or less in the middle (on the edge of the Pennines) and have a rambling old house with spare bedrooms and a decent-sized living room to meet in, Northwrite’s inaugural meeting happened here in June 2012, and it has happened quarterly ever since.

The views here aren’t so bad…

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We meet on a Sunday for a full day, and since I don’t have to travel I cook lunch for anything up to ten of us, eleven if I count my longsuffering husband who very…

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BSFA London Meeting 25th of April: Interview with Tade Thompson

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Tade Thompson interviewed by Liz Williams

April’s special guest at the monthly BSFA London meetings is author Tade Thompson. His story The Apologists was nominated for a BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction for 2016 and also selected for Newcon Press’s anthology Best of British Science Fiction 2016. His novel Rosewater is the winner of the inaugural Nommo Awards and a John W. Campbell Award Finalist; his first novel,  Making Wolf,  won the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award. The Murders of Molly Southbourne, his latest work, has recently been optioned for screen adaptation.

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Tade Thompson will be interviewed by Liz Williams, a multiple nominee for the Philip K. Dick Award and the author of many novels such as Winterstrike, Nine Layers of Sky, Banner of Souls (which was also shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Ghost Sister, Empire of Bones, Darkland, Bloodmind, The Poison…

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